Miller, Davis contribute in new ways


Miller, Davis contribute in new ways

LANDOVER, Md. -- Bruce Miller was the guy who was supposed to make plays on special teams. Vernon Davis is the 49ers' go-to receiver on offense.The rookie and the veteran had their roles reversed on Sunday in the 49ers' 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Miller, a fullback, caught the first touchdown pass of his NFL career and was the only 49ers player to get into the end zone on Sunday. He hauled in a 30-yard scoring pass from quarterback Alex Smith in the second quarter.And Davis secured the victory when he recovered an onside kick with 70 seconds remaining after the Redskins pulled to within eight points.Miller, who was a defensive end in college, scored two touchdowns on interception returns last season at Central Florida. He found himself all alone as he released out of the backfield on Sunday.When asked about being so wide open and how long it seemed the ball was in the air, Miller said, "It felt like five minutes. That's what it felt like. It felt like that ball was in the air forever. But I looked it in and Alex threw a great pass."Davis' game-clinching play also seemed as if it took forever to develop. In fact, Davis signaled a fair catch on Redskins kicker Graham Gano's onside kick, despite the fact the ball first hit the ground before going the mandatory 10 yards."I kept hearing Ted Ginn in my ear, telling me, 'Fair catch it, fair catch it.' So when I saw the ball up the air, I just did what I could to make a play," Davis said.Davis was penalized for an invalid fair catch signal, but it didn't matter. The 49ers retained possession and was able to run out the clock. Davis admitted he did not know the rule governing fair catches.
"No, I didn't know anything. I just do what I'm told -- stand out there and catch the ball. I'm going to put it on him (Ginn)," Davis said, laughing.

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up."

Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. The civil rights organization's interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it's apparently "no sheer coincidence" that Kaepernick isn't on a roster.

"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech - to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL's own regulations," Johnson said.

The NAACP's state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: "Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."

Goodell has said the league isn't blackballing Kaepernick.

Some other players followed Kaepernick's actions last season, and some are doing so in this year's pre-season. On Monday, a group of Cleveland Browns players prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. Among those kneeling was a white player, Seth DeValve. Another white player, Britton Colquitt, did not kneel but kept his hand on the shoulder of a teammate who did.

That protest earned the ire of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office. Justice Bill O'Neill wrote on Facebook that he wouldn't attend any games at which "draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field."

"Shame on you all," he said.

49ers activate Jimmie Ward


49ers activate Jimmie Ward

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Jimmie Ward was cleared Wednesday morning to begin practicing with his teammates after missing nearly four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.

Ward underwent conditioning tests on Monday and Tuesday to complete the final hurdles before the club activated him off the physically unable to perform list.

Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test on the eve of training camp.

Ward was moved to cornerback last season, where he started 10 games.

He finished the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the 49ers' primary nickel back in his first two NFL seasons.

Jaquiski Tartt originally took over at free safety at the beginning of camp. But after Tartt missed significant practice time with a ribs injury, undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome stepped in.

Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games at free safety.